because Grace smiled

Last night I was sitting on Deck 8 watching the sun go down and I found myself in a place of overwhelming thankfulness. I’ve been living on this ship for 6 months now and I’ve seen so many African people healed from cleft lips, club feet, insanely large tumors, hernias and many other deformities. I’ve seen orphans shown love for the first time in their lives. I’ve seen poverty at it’s worst and I’ve seen joy at it’s best. I’ve seen so many beautiful and amazing things, but for some reason it has taken me 6 months to find myself at this place of overwhelming thankfulness. Here is one story that has brought me to this place.

This is Grace: Grace has carried this tumor for nine years.

Photo Credit: Catherine Clarke Murphy;Thankfully, Grace came to Screening Day!

This is Grace after her life changing surgery on Sept. 10th here on board the ship:


The tumor she has carried for nine years is gone!!!

This is Grace healed and leaving the Africa Mercy:


Grace and so many others is why I’m overwhelmed with thankfulness. As you see in the first picture, Grace was unable to smile and as you see in the last picture, Grace is smiling! No, I can’t preform these surgeries that completely change lives and bring these beautiful smiles, but I do get to be a small part of all that it takes to bring healing to these beautiful people.  This is why I’m here. Regardless of the job I do each day on the ship, I do it to see Grace and so many others smile.

Life here hasn’t been easy. There have been many days all I wanted to do is pack up and go home. There have been many days that I have painfully missed those I love the most back home and because of that I’ve felt as though I should be back home with them. Thankfully, Grace and so many others smile and once again I see the bigger picture and I’m reminded that I was brought here for a reason.


About lisamhart

My biggest passion and desire for my life is to simply 'help people'. There is truly nothing in this life I want more. So is what I've done to begin to accomplish this passion; I left my amazing job, I moved out of the house and into a storage unit, I said goodbye to my family and my Kevin, I packed up two bags and headed to Guinea, Africa to volunteer a year of my life to work on a free hospital ship. After a few months in Guinea, we then sailed to Congo which is where I will spend the last 5 months of time with Mercy Ships.
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2 Responses to because Grace smiled

  1. evandaestes says:

    Yay for Grace! It is so amazing what you are doing Lisa!

  2. Rhonda says:

    I am so proud of you!

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